Another of the dingy landmarks I’ve been passing by since I moved here came down in the past few weeks.
I was walking by 218 SW Jefferson and noticed I could see light inside and the rafters were exposed.
Circling the block told the rest of the story.
Over a century old, it was at one point used by the Pendleton Woolen Mills company. The company still has a sizeable presence in Oregon with administrative and woolen mill facilities in the state, and even a bit of manufacturing capability.
It’s of simple design, but I always thought it had a minimalistic appeal. I’m certain it was seismically unsafe though, which is proving to be the kiss of death for many of Portland’s more humble historic properties.
Meanwhile across the river, the burned out hulk of the Taylor Electric Company building at 240 SE Clay seems to be getting a new lease on life. From the look of the renders of the project at least part of the original structure will be retained as a barrier around the parking lot for the new complex and possibly as part of the structure for the new building on the site. Seems to be a popular option for making use of some of the old bones of industrial buildings around the city.
Another Anchorage NIKE site, Summit, is located near the Arctic Valley ski area in the Chugach mountains. Since being decommissioned in 1979 it had deteriorated considerably, thanks to the harsh weather, vandals, and military training exercises. I paid a visit to the launch bunkers and surrounding buildings in 2005.
They were rather decrepit, and completely open to the elements. While the situation for the site looked rather grim back when I checked it out, it seems to have improved considerably since. Friends of Nike Site Summit and the Alaska Association for Historic Preservation seem to have been successful in their push to get the site recognition as historic. Since the summer of 2010 FONSS have been performing restoration work at the site.
Most of the equipment inside has been stripped, or is lying in pieces. Larger components are left in place though, including the missile carriages.
The works of the carriages are far less intact than at Point.
Several murals original to the site can be found. This one is on the ceiling in the lower level of one of the bunkers.
Another mural, I believe it was in the hallway to the back rooms of one of the launch bunkers.
The support buildings fared worse than the bunkers. Wood construction and the harsh climate don’t agree well.
A lot more of the old fixtures were present in this group of buildings. Lots of trash from training exercises was scattered around.
It was quite the hike from the ski area parking lot. Rest of the set below, lots of equipment detail and a few more interior shots.
While I was looking through old photo sets to choose the next one to upload I was re-reading background info on various sites. I found some more recent articles about one, and unfortunately it has joined many of its kind as a victim of arson.
The Pierce cottage was part of the Fairview Training Center, a former psychiatric hospital in Salem, Oregon. After standing for nearly ninety years, it was burned down by people who “…said they thought it might be humorous to imply a “ghost” had something to do with the fire, amid stories of hauntings in the building, investigators said.” The place was due to be deconstructed and recycled, so it isn’t as big a loss as a building that had potential for reuse in situ, or preservation, but it is still disappointing to see anything destroyed so flippantly.
I won’t try to explain the whole history of the campus, others do a better job than I could hope to. If you’re interested in learning more about its history the Wikipedia article is not a bad place to start.
Despite having been largely gutted and partially demolished when I checked it out, it was an impressive and interesting place to explore. A lot of the history of the buildings still showed through in the notes on the walls, small personal items scattered about, and in the way the buildings were laid out.
An extensive network of tunnels carried utility lines from where the main plant used to stand to each of the buildings on the campus. It also provided convenient passage between the buildings, out of sight of worried neighbors and the rumored security guard. And of course, they also had that delicious quality steam tunnels do of making you feel simultaneously like a secret agent infiltrating some forbidden place, and a character in a horror movie who is going to be messily devoured by whatever is waiting around the bend.
Here’s the rest of the set: